| Among the Meadow People|
|by Clara Dillingham Pierson|
|Delightful stories of field life for young children, relating incidents in the lives of birds, insects, and other small creatures who make the meadow their home. Each chapter features the story of one animal in its daily activities and interactions with the other animals inhabiting the meadow. Ages 5-7 |
 THE warm summer days were past, and the Katydids came again
to the meadow. Everybody was glad to see them, and the
Grasshoppers, who are cousins of the Katydids, gave a party
in their honor.
Such a time as the meadow people had getting ready for that
party! They did not have to change their dresses, but they
scraped and cleaned themselves, and all the young
Grasshoppers went off by
 the woods to practise jumping and
get their knees well limbered, because there might be games
and dancing at the party, and then how dreadful it would be
if any young Grasshopper should find that two or three of
his legs wouldn't bend easily!
The Grasshoppers did not know at just what time they ought
to have the party. Some of the meadow people whom they
wanted to invite were used to sleeping all day, and some
were used to sleeping all night, so it really was hard to
find an hour at which all would be wide-awake and ready for
fun. At last the Tree Frog said: "Pukr-r-rup! Pukr-r-rup!
Have it at sunset!" And at sunset it was.
Everyone came on time, and they hopped and chattered and
danced and ate a party supper of tender green leaves. Some
of the little Grasshoppers grew sleepy and crawled among the
plantains for a nap. Just then a big Katydid said he would
sing a song—which was a very
 kind thing for him to do,
because he really did it to make the others happy, and not
to show what a fine musician he was. All the guests said,
"How charming!" or, "We should be delighted!" and he seated
himself on a low swinging branch. You know Katydids sing
with the covers of their wings, and so when he alighted on
the branch he smoothed down his pale green suit and rubbed
his wing-cases a little to make sure that they were in tune.
Then he began loud and clear, "Katy did! Katy did!! Katy
Of course he didn't mean any real Katy, but was just singing
his song. However, there was another Katydid there who had a
habit of contradicting, and he had eaten too much supper,
and that made him feel crosser than ever; so when the singer
said "Katy did!" this cross fellow jumped up and said, "Katy
Katy didn't!!!" and they kept at it,
one saying that she
 did and the other that she didn't, until
everybody was ashamed and uncomfortable, and some of the
little Grasshoppers awakened and wanted to know what was the
Both of the singers got more and more vexed until at last
neither one knew just what he was saying—and that, you
know, is what almost always happens when people grow angry.
They just kept saying something as loud and fast as possible
and thought all the while that they were very bright—which
was all they knew about it.
Suddenly somebody noticed that the one who began to say
"Katy did!" was screaming "Katy didn't!" and the one who had
said "Katy didn't!" was roaring "Katy did!" Then they all
laughed, and the two on the branch looked at each other in a
very shamefaced way.
The Tree Frog always knew the right thing to do, and he said
 so loudly that all stopped talking at once.
When they were quiet he said: "We will now listen to a duet,
'Katy,' by the two singers who are up the tree. All please
join in the chorus." So it was begun again, and both the
leaders were good-natured, and all the Katydids below joined
in with "did or didn't, did
or didn't, did
or didn't." And
that was the end of the quarrel.
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